Saturday, February 27, 2016

Stacking the Shelves - 2.27.16

Stacking the Shelves
hosted by Tynga's Reviews (details)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


I did LOTS of movie watching than reading this past week due to the upcoming Oscars and the Mostly British Film Festival - good stuff ;-)



(The Beautiful Creatures of Beverly Hills #1)
by E. Van Lowe
Just released: February 11, 2016
Amazon | Goodreads

OTHER things: kinda book-related

Book Passage
Ferry Building, San Francisco
Author event: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

=====> Beautiful woman. Loved hearing the stories behind the characters and creation of her latest book.


From Owlcrate package (details & signup):
OwlCrate is a subscription service that sends you magical monthly boxes tailored to a chosen theme. Each OwlCrate will contain one new Young Adult novel, as well as 3-5 other bookish treats to help you get your nerd on. @owlcrate

February Box includes:
- The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry
- Author signed bookplate for The Love That Split The World & note from author
- The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (published by Rock Paper Books)
- Tote bag: The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer (Owlcrate exclusive)
- TARDIS brooch created by Vector Engraving

The Love That Split The World
by Emily Henry
-SciFi, Romance, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

The Time Machine
by H.G. Wells
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> I continue to love the boxes coming from Owlcrate. As I have not been purchasing or receiving ARCs of YA books lately, the selection is a hit for me.

AND watched: on Netflix, Oscar nominees

Winter on Fire (2015)
Ukraine's Fight for Freedom
Director: Evgeny Afineevsky
Starring: Bishop Agapit, Serhii Averchenko, Kristina Berdinskikh
-Documentary | imdb | my rating: 4

A documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.

Cartel Land (2015)
Director: Matthew Heineman
Starring: José Manuel 'El Doctor' Mireles
-Documentary, Action, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

A physician in Michoacán, Mexico leads a citizen uprising against the drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Across the U.S. border, a veteran heads a paramilitary group working to prevent Mexico's drug wars from entering U.S. territory.

Last Day of Freedom (2015)
Director: Dee Hibbert-Jones, Nomi Talisman
Starring: Bill Babbitt
-Documentary Short, Animation | imdb | my rating: 5

When Bill Babbitt realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime he agonizes over his decision to call the police. Living Condition: Bill's Story is an animated account of his decision to support and help his brother in the face of war, crime and capital execution.

AND watched: in theatre, part of Mostly British Film Festival SF (details)

Chicken (2015)
Director: Joe Stephenson
Writers: Chris New
Based on play by: Freddie Machin
Starring: Scott Chambers, Yasmin Paige, Morgan Watkins
-Drama, UK | imdb | my rating: 5

RICHARD, 15 with learning difficulties, longs to put down roots but his restless and destructive brother, POLLY, needs to keep moving. When the land they live on is bought by a new landowner, and the electricity supply to their caravan is cut, their already precarious living conditions get even worse. Then a chance meeting with the new landowner's daughter, 17 year old ANNABEL (Yasmin Paige), leaves RICHARD besotted; whilst POLLY befriends the guys who run a seedy traveling fair. Richards optimistic view on life becomes increasingly difficult to maintain as Polly's abusive behavior worsens, family secrets are revealed, and he is torn between loyalty to his brother and his first true friend in ANNABEL. For better or worse, Richards life is about to change forever.

=====> Gut-wrenching film. The one film that stands out for me in this film festival. Impressive debut from this director. Joe Stephenson is one to watch out for!

What We Did On Our Holiday (2014)
Director/Writer: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin
Starring: Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Billy Connolly
-Comedy, Drama, Scotland | imdb | my rating: 5

Doug and Abi take their kids on a family vacation. Surrounded by relatives, the kids innocently reveal the ins and outs of their family life and many intimate details about their parents. It's soon clear that when it comes to keeping a big secret under wraps from the rest of the family, their children are their biggest liability...

=====> Touching and thoughtful with some amusing scenes (with the kids).

Last Cab to Darwin (2015)
Director: Jeremy Sims
Writers: Reg Cribb, Jeremy Sims
Based on play by: Reb Cribb
Starring: Michael Caton, Ningali Lawford, Mark Coles Smith
-Comedy, Drama, Romance, Australia | imdb | my rating: 5

When Rex, a Broken Hill cab driver, is told he doesn't have long to live, he sets out on an epic journey to Darwin in a bid to die on his own terms.

=====> Pleasantly surprised with this one. Premise of storyline handled well and well-delivered.

You're Ugly Too (2015)
Director/Writer: Mark Noonan
Starring: Aiden Gillen, Lauren Kinsella
-Comedy, Drama, Ireland | imdb | my rating: 5

After her mother's death, Stacey moves with her uncle Will to a remote region in the Irish midlands. As the two cautiously get to know each other, they have to deal with the dark shadows of the past. An astute character driven study on the need to regain footing and let go, told with a good dose of Irish humor.

=====> Snarky dialogue with misfit characters who grow on each other (and on me).

Dark Horse (2015)
Director: Louise Osmond
Starring: Dream Alliance
-Documentary, Drama, UK | imdb | my rating: 5

An inspirational true story of a group of friends from a working men's club who decide to take on the elite 'sport of kings' and breed themselves a racehorse

=====> Loved this story that gives a look into the horse racing world from the owner's perspective. Dream Alliance ranks up there as one of those underdog winners.

Strangerland (2015)
Director: Kim Farrant
Writers: Michael Kinirons, Fiona Seres
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving
-Drama, Thriller, Australia | imdb | my rating: 4

A family finds their dull life in a rural outback town rocked after their two teenage children disappear into the desert, sparking disturbing rumors of their past.

=====> Captured the landscape well. Got too artsy for me at times.

A Nightingale Falling (2014)
Director: Garret Daly, Martina McGlynn
Writers: Garret Daly, Martina McGlynn
Based on book by: PJ Curtis
Starring: Tara Breathnach, Muireann Bird, Gerard McCarthy
-Drama, History, War, Ireland | imdb | my rating: 4

Set in Ireland during the War of Independence, two sisters lives are changed forever as they care for a wounded soldier. What transpires is a tragic love story of a household and its inhabitants, caught in the crucible of dark deep secrets.

=====> Tragic, indeed. Done well and captures the time period (Downton Abby-ish). But not sure I really liked it - because of unlikable characters.

One Million Dubliners (2014)
Director: Aoife Kelleher
Writers: James Mitchell
Starring: Shane MacThomais
-Documentary, Ireland | imdb | my rating: 4

Glasnevin Cemetery is the final resting place of 1.5 million souls; it is Ireland's national necropolis. ONE MILLION DUBLINERS reveals the often unspoken stories of ritual, loss, redemption, emotion, history - and the business of death. But this is really a film about life: the Saint Valentine's Day rush in the florists; the American visitors eagerly searching for Irish ancestors; lost and longed for love; discovery and bereavement; earthy gravediggers and musicians in celebration. Above all, it's the story of an immensely engaging Tour Guide shepherding his charges - and us - through the headstones and monuments, through opinions and beliefs. Filled with the familiar and the fascinating, this is a documentary that offers a glimpse into the unknown, into a world we will all come to share. Often humorous, always affecting, ONE MILLION DUBLINERS explores life, death and the afterlife, and ends in a way that will stay with you forever. Even in a cemetery you never quite get used to death.

=====> Interesting perspective of Glasnevin cemetery with a subplot that surprised me.

My Name is Emily (2015)
Director/Writer: Simon Fitzmaurice
Starring: Evanna Lynch, Martin McCann, Michael Smiley
-Drama, Ireland | imdb | my rating: 4

A teenage girl runs away from a foster home with the boy who loves her. She searches for her visionary writer father who is locked up in a psychiatric institution. It is a story of redemption.

=====> Beautiful imagery transitions. But, went a bit overmuch with the voice overs.

Felony (2013)
Director: Matthew Saville
Screenplay: Joel Edgerton
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Jai Courtney, Tom Wilkinson
-Thriller, Australia | imdb | my rating: 4

An accident involving a young child sets off a chain of events that brings an Australian police officer's world crashing down.

=====> This is one where you find yourself stewing over. Gave me mixed emotions.

Sunset Song (2013)
Director: Terence Davies
Screenplay: Terence Davies
Based on book by: Lewis Grassic Gibbon
Starring: Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan, Kevin Guthrie
-Drama, Scotland | imdb | my rating: 4

The daughter of a Scottish farmer comes of age in the early 1900s.

=====> Lovely landscapes and scenes. But the voice overs killed it for me (again).

The Little Death (2014)
Director: Josh Lawson
Writer: Josh Lawson
Starring: Bojana Novakovic, Damon Herriman, Josh Lawson
-Comedy,Drama, Romance, Australia | imdb | my rating: 4

The secret lives of five suburban couples living in Sydney reveal both the fetishes and the repercussions that come with sharing them.

=====> Some hilarious moments and interesting to see how the stories intersect - all involving sex and relationships.

The Dressmaker (1988)
Director: Jim O'Brien
Screenplay: John McGrath
Based on book by: Beryl Bainbridge
Starring: Joan Plowright, Billie Whitelaw, Pete Postlethwaite
-Drama, Romance, England | imdb | my rating: 4

In England during World War II, a repressed dressmaker and her sister struggle looking after their 17-year-old niece, who is having a delusional affair with an American soldier.

=====> If you watch Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries series, you will be tickled to see some the of the actors in this film. Also, a young Jane Horrocks appears and surprised me with her character arc. Looking forward to seeing her again as Bubble in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie later this year.

Delicious (2013)
Director: Tammy Riley-Smith
Writer: Tammy Riley-Smith
Starring: Nico Rogner, Louise Brealey
-Comedy, Drama, Romance, UK | imdb | my rating: 3

A passionate chef resorts to extreme measures to get an obsessive dieter to eat good food.

=====> A bit lightweight compared to the others in this festival, but entertaining if you are in the rom-com/foodie mode.


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